Trading Activities at the Exchange Improve

Photo L-R: Bennedikter Molokwu, Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc; Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Executive Director, Business Development, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Abdullahi Sule, Ag. Group Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc; Chioma Madubuko, Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc; and Mansur Ahmed, Group Executive Director Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communication, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc at Closing Gong Ceremony at the NSE.

Activities in the Nigerian equities market ended almost flat today, after the benchmark index slipped by just 1bps at the end of trade to settle at 29,030.97pts. This was against the declines in market bellwethers -- NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-0.7%), UNILEVER (-5.3%) and ZENITH BANK (-1.1%).

Market capitalization equally declined N505.2m to settle at N10.0tn. Conversely, market activities measured by volume and value rose 57.1% and 45.4% to 285.2m units and N3.0bn respectively.

Insurance Index Turns Positive
Performance across sectors was mixed with the Insurance sector index recording the highest gain of 0.7% against increases recorded in MANSARD (+2.8%) and AIICO (+3.5%). For the 3rd consecutive day, the Oil & Gas index also improved 0.6% on account of further correction in OANDO (+5.4%). On the other hand, sector decliners was led by the Industrial Goods sector which closed 0.5% lower mainly against sell-offs in WAPCO (-1.0%).

After shedding 14bps today, the Consumer Goods and Banking indices both continued southward due to declines in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-0.7%) and ZENITH (-1.1%).

Uptick in Sentiments
Though still within the negative region, market breadth improved further to 0.8x (vs. 0.7x yesterday) as 19 stocks advanced against 25 declining stocks. Top gainers were INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES (+4.9%), VONO (+4.6%) and ETERNA (+4.3%) while highest decliners were DANGOTE FLOUR, CAVERTON and FIDSON with -4.9% each.

We believe the sustained moderation in losses as well as improvement in sentiments as observed today further signals a glimmer of hope for the equities market in the near term. On the basis of the above, we expect investors to further cash in on cheaply valued stocks.